Essex seaside town raved about by travel expert as ‘fantastic’ family holiday

An Essex destination has been named as a “fantastic and affordable” seaside town to visit by a travel expert. Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel has shared his top recommendation – and it’s in our county.

His advice comes as survey reviews ranked UK seaside towns with Bamburgh in Northumberland coming out top. Southend finished fourth from bottom on the survey while Clacton was also at the bottom end of the list, the Mirror reports.

According to survey reviews, Clacton received one star for its scenery. It also has one star for the lack of peace and quiet. Bamburgh in Northumberland came up on top, winning five stars for the scenery, quality of the beach and seafront and peace and quiet.

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But Rory said Southend was his top pick, despite it being near the bottom of the list. He said: “Where was my last UK seaside break? Southend on Sea. This small city on the Essex coast finished an unhappy fourth from bottom in our survey.

“Now I’m not going to try and convince you it deserves to be up the other end of the table. Is it as nice as Bamburgh, or Dartmouth? No. But for that holiday where you want to have some fun and not spend a lot of money, it’s fantastic.”

Despite the low ranking, Southend is still enjoyed by families who relish traditional fairground attractions, amusements and fish & chips by the sea. Rory added: “In Southend me and my kids won (and lost) a fortune on the penny slot machines, took a spin on the carousel aboard a pair of pink elephants and ate £9 fish and chips with our toes in the miles of sandy beach.

“It was not a warts free holiday. Rubbish blew around our feet while we walked along the promenade and many buildings looked run down, a reflection of the struggles Southend and many other traditional seaside resorts have in raising enough revenue to regenerate their town centres.

“Not for the first time we also had to cross the road away from boozed up and shouty day drinkers. This is a perpetual problem in some seaside resort towns.

“Clacton, Skegness and Southend all received one star from visitors for the lack of peace and quiet, and some visitors complain that the boisterous atmosphere can tip into feeling unsafe. That’s a shame, because what Clacton, Skegness and Southend offer is exactly the sort of seaside break many of us want.

“Big beaches, big entertainment and small prices. More should be done to help them level up and become first class holiday resorts.”

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